Sunday, June 26, 2016

The days are too hot to have a cold...





Time //  2:06

Eating // Frozen Chimichangas

Drinking // water... just kidding... 

Weather // Hot Hot... still love it. From inside, in AC

LISTENING TO // Love in the Time of Cholera ~ by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezEdith Grossman (Translator)
This just may be the book that breaks my slump. I'm so anxious to finish it!!

READING:// People of the Book ~ Geraldine Brooks


Maybe I can even get back into this one!


Watching //  Uhm, yeah.. I did Season 4 of Orange is the New Black in two days. Maybe 2 1/2. 


Music // Didn't really listen to anything this week. Didn't do much writing...any... Didn't do any writing. 


Blogging // Nothing new here either

Acquisitions // I got to go to one of my favorite bookstores ever.. The Haunted Bookshop in Iowa City. Great staff, humongous selection of GOOD stuff!! If you know Iowa City you've probably heard of the venerable Prairie Lights, but let me tell you Haunted is equally a Must Visit for the bookish folk coming to this literary town. 

I bought my daughter a paperback copy of The Stand (so she can finally get it read). I figured it was mandatory since she got to see him on his End of Watch tour. *which OMG! Stephen King doing a book tour??? She said he was FANTASTIC and if he wasn't a writer he could certainly be a stand-up comic. 



Hating  // Well not scoring a ticket to Stephen King for one. But I'm glad my daughter made it. She ended up with a boyfriend out of the deal, but that's another story... 

Loving //  Summer!!! Even though I have a summer cold. Going on 3 weeks now. dang thing. 


Writing// Didn't do too much. Will be doing tons this week!

There are a couple books that have come on my radar this week that I'm interested in checking out... when I get some time...

The first is White Trash. The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg.
I read the NY Times review and it really piqued my interest. And I haven't read a Non-fiction out of curiosity for awhile now
And the next book was:

First and foremost the Nobel Prize sticker got me. I found it on a blog post by bibliophiliac's Sunday Salon post. I liked the description of the experience she was having reading this book and the book in and of its self sounds superb!

But before that .... off to do homework. All 4 classes in full swing now. And getting well!! To much summer to be stuck down sick.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Back from the Emerald Isle





Time //  9:03

Eating // Oatmeal in a bit

Drinking // gee I wonder

Weather // Hot and I love it!!

LISTENING TO // Apt Pupil ~ Stephen King. Originally published in his book Different Seasons, I had managed to miss this story. That's ok, I probably couldn't have handled it. This is not a scary story. Not in a Stephen King sense, this is a terrifying story in a 'what the hell are humans capable of anyway'. Arguably one of the most disturbing stories I've every read. Not in a good way. Not at all. 
Especially today. But then again, maybe we should revisit this story to scare us off the path we seem to be on. 

READING:// People of the Book ~ Geraldine Brooks


I'm not captured by this book at all. I've been leaving it and returning to it for months. It's like a personal challenge now. 

Goodreads blurb: n 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she begins to unlock the book’s mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its salvation back to its creation. 
Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is at once a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity, an ambitious, electrifying work by an acclaimed and beloved author.


Watching //  I'm so fed up with Netflix. Has anyone else seen the slow, insidious descent into mediocrity that their catalog of streaming titles has become? I went to a list of movies about writing and writers and of that list I came up with one movie I could watch on streaming. I loved it! but that's not the point. You usedtacould go on and get lots of relevant titles. Relevant being if now brand new, at least popular. What other movie service is out there for a comparable price? I don't watch that often so I'm really not getting much value anymore. 

Except I did binge watch The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmitt. I was in love with that show for the first 10 episodes. Then I was in love with Titus for the rest of the first season and all of season two. Mr. Titus Burgess, you knocked this one out of the park!! 


Music // I'm writing now so I need to be listening to sound tracks. I usually find them by going on Youtube to find them. I haven't seen many recent movies. So suggestions welcome!


Blogging // I really need to get a schedule...

Acquisitions // I did buy a book of Irish short stories to read on the plane. I was too excited to read or sleep. 

Hating  // I'm not in a hating mood today. I see too much everywhere. The mass shooting in Orlando last night has my heart breaking again. I'm so exhausted from people erasing other people for simply being different. Why have we gone from "I don't like you. I don't agree with you. I'll not have anything to do with you." to "I don't like you, I'll get rid of you." It hurts me. 

Loving //  My trip. I want to go back. So much yet to experience. 


Writing// Most of my writing is focused on my classes to finish my BA in creative writing. Yet they are projects in my portfolio. So I'm excited. 

I have an unusual opportunity but I've got reservations on acting on it. 

segue into... 

Avoiding //  Next year I can finally finish my degree. It's been a long, long time coming. This is the path I want to pursue for the rest of my earning years. But where I am, an accounting clerk at a mid sized company, is fairly stable. If rather low paying. I have a nest egg (not my retirement, just a savings) that I could use to subsidize my part time work that would allow me to to work part time in town, focus on finishing my degree. Can I do it if I work full time? perhaps. But I wouldn't be able to also work on my writing and my stress would be crushing. My dad would have said keep the job. But my dad wasn't big on dream chasing. My mom would have said, go for it! Life is about living and doing what we are uniquely appointed to do. My disparate upbringing should have evolved into my own life philosophy by now, and usually it has, but occasionally I'm stumped. And what I'm stumped about honestly is the best decision that lies between what I WANT to do versus what I SHOULD do balanced what I believe i CAN do. Written that way it seems easy. But I've had enough 'what was I thinking' moments over the years to not actually trust that. Without telling me what I should do, has anyone else taken the bold step to leave a paying gig to go back to school? 

OH yeah!! And I'm back from Ireland!! 

The countryside that moves my soul!! It resembles Iowa, where I live. Huh. Imagine that!


Dublin - the long room at the Book of Kells exhibit. Both are amazing!!
The streets of Galway

The Aran Islands - this is Inis Mor. We went up to the cliffs too. 

I didn't take this. I couldn't get anywhere near this close to the edge. There is NO guardrail and no catch net. I get vertigo. Serious vertigo. My daughter took this, which as a mom, gave me heart attack enough. 

Dunluce Castle.


 Loved this stop. It was historically impressive and so beautiful here to.

Derry
Giants Causeway. Gorgeous and after last semester's Paleontology class, very fascinating!!

Remember when I said I get terrible vertigo... they talked me into doing this bridge. 60ft high rope bridge to an island with nothing there but more cliffs. I went back across to relative safety almost immediately!


Queen's University Botanical garden in Belfast. Could have left a piece of my heart here. 

And my favorite location:
Bru na Boinne

All the magic that is rumored to be in Ireland emanates from here. I'm sure of it. Every Celtic myth and tale. They flow from the energy here. Older by 500 years than the pyramids at Giza. 

 


Sorry for the information overload. if it was TLDR, that's ok too. I totally understand. If anything I need a place to park all these things. Reading, thinking, going, doing, wishing, writing.  If you enjoy it, I'm ecstatic and deeply humbled. I know I enjoy getting to see all of your reading, going, doing, wish-ings too!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Flawless spring weekend!!




Time //  8:58

Eating // Nothing yet...maybe cheerios with brown sugar in a bit

Drinking // Three guesses

Weather // Beyond beautiful!! 75 sunny, grass already mown, tulips in bloom...ahhhhh

LISTENING TO // Prince...over and over. So sad. Moline is just a few minutes from here. Believe it or not, there weren't a ton of rumors flying about his stop there. Except that he got the 'save shot'. 

READING:// People of the Book ~ Geraldine Brooks


I'm not very far into this yet and I actually took a break from it to complete and audio book (the audio book was a d/l from the library and it has a 10 day expiration.) Sorry to say, I hadn't missed it very much when I was away from it.

Goodreads blurb: n 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she begins to unlock the book’s mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its salvation back to its creation. 
Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is at once a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity, an ambitious, electrifying work by an acclaimed and beloved author.


Watching //  I may turn the set on for a bit, but Netflix has been so disappointing with their new additions I rarely have it on. Got to share Jurassic World with my friend Audrey. She hadn't seen it yet, so that's always fun to see reactions to the end. She guessed all the plot devices exactly where I did. She's my movie twin. 


Music // Too sad to say much else... He was pretty Iconic in my life..What can I say, I'm an 80's girl. 



Blogging // ...but I think of you so often little blog, I really do!

Acquisitions // I've become pretty adept at using this handy dandy service provided to Iowa Library patrons. (not in Iowa? ask!! I'll bet your Library has one too)

I can download ebooks or audiobooks. I can open the files on my phone, aux cable in my car and viola... no physical acquisitions needed. 

This is helping me manage my over abundant collection!!

Hating  // Woke up with severe pain in my wrist!! I can move it, can't do my hair, can't type with my left hand... this is not good! I'm doing the RICE thing. It has to get better soon!

Loving //  20 days until my trip to....


Writing// is still going well but I had a small faux pas. I wrote about it more on my writing blog https://laurabettag.wordpress.com/  I don't get over there to post very often either. 

Time... such a painful thing. 

Avoiding //   I finally decided to keep my house. I'm giving away my packing boxes. I still don't like it, but it'll do.  I'll give it 5 years. So now I guess I better settle in. Fix what I hate and make it mine.
Back to that time thing... I wish wish wish I had time to participate in..

To all you who did... Yay you guys!! To all of you who are did a donation in conjunction with pages read DOUBLY YAY!!

Hopefully I can get by some read-a-thon-ers blogs and do some late cheerleading at least. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Out of hibernation...




Time //  11:18

Eating // Oatmeal now, chili for later

Drinking // Coffee. With me there is no alternative apparently

Weather // Rainy which is AWESOME because it's not snowy. As a matter of fact, IT"S SPRING!!

LISTENING TO // Nothing at the moment. I have no audio book going at all. Weird for me.





READING:// About 20 pages from the end of Blame ~ Michelle Huneven

This has been an amazing book. So much true to life emotion. 

Goodreads blurb: The story: Patsy MacLemoore, a history professor in her late twenties with a brand-new Ph.D. from Berkeley and a wild streak, wakes up in jail yet again--after another epic alcoholic blackout. "Okay, what'd I do?"? she asks her lawyer and jailers. "I really don't remember."? She adds, jokingly: "Did I kill someone?"

Forgiveness, blame, and responsibility all wrapped up and intermixed...right up to the game changing end. 

this is a deserved award winner guys and a book that should get more mainstream attention. Beautifully, simply written, the grit and the grist show through as well as the longing, remorse, and love. 

Read it! Love it!! Contemplate it!!

Watching //  Not much... sort of out of ideas that strike my fancy



Music // Still Nothing of note... no pun intended. Except back to some soundtracks while I write.

Blogging // Well since the last post was January..... 

Acquisitions // On Writing ~ Stephen King Hardback ~ 1st Edition ~ MINT

My Aunt texted me and said she wanted to drop off a book I might like. She left it with a note. "Thought you might enjoy this. I did and I'm not even a writer." She had no idea that I'm a HUGE SK collector!! OR that I didn't have this yet. My daughter has a recent paperback copy, but for my collection, I didn't have one. I'm so THRILLED that a) she thinks of me as a writer and b) that universe brought me this great book!! Thanks Aunt Bonnie!! It was a crappy couple of weeks that you brightened up!! 


Hating  // Commuting. Period. Still just hate it. Oh... and my used elliptical for $20 bucks? well folks, you get what you pay for....

Loving // SPRINGSPRINGSPRINGSPRINGSPRING!!! I LOVE SPRING!!!!


Writing// is going well. hence the lack of blog posts. AND!! I've had a piece picked up for the next annual edition of a local journal (literary and more) called the Wapsipinicon Almanac...

An annual regional collection of fiction, essays and reviews. Produced via letterpress in Anamosa, Iowa. 

He hand picks some of his contributors and some, like myself, are lucky enough to garner a nod from a queried submission. This is big digs!! I'm much prouder of my inclusion in The Almanac than my paid gig for Buckmasters a few years ago. I went to an Indie Bookstore hosted reading celebrating this latest issue and was brought to both raucous laughter and chin-quivering tears by the works. I'm humbled to be among them now. 
I wrote and delivered my annual Wednesday-during-Lent-lay-person sermon, and it went well.

I have submission in for the literary magazine of the University of Iowa, The Iowa Review. (I'm pushing the envelope with that one perhaps. But hey! who knows!)
And class is going well too, 

so I'm encouraged to say the least!

Avoiding //   My basement and garage right now. I haven't finished my office, but I've attended to it somewhat. 

Yay Spring! 



Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mid-January Blues




Time //  1:42

Eating // nothing much because there's nothing much here to eat today. 

Drinking // Coffee. But..drat I was hoping to be able to say water. Not yet though.

Weather // January in Iowa. It's -7 right now with a wind chill of -30. Oh joy. But they sky is so blue! The sun is so bright. So it seriously could be worse. 

LISTENING TO // Grace (Eventually) ~ Anne Lamott

Funny yet astute, touching and poignant... Very good book.. but I wish I'd read it rather than listened to it.

READING:// At Home in Mitford ~ Jan Karon
This has been a book for me I'm relishing like good dark chocolate! Still working on this. Have had some deadlines that had me putting it aside for a bit. 

FINISHED:// One Thousand Gifts ~ Ann Voskamp
Review coming soon. 



Watching //  Rememberance films. 




So sad. Way to young.. Way too soon.

Music // Nothing of note... no pun intended

Blogging // Nothing much.

Acquisitions // Galley arrived in the mail to read and review. 
Love it when I get these. They always arrive just out of the blue. Except this one didn't forward from my old address and the post office charged me 5.90 to get it from them. grrr.


Also picked up a copy of:
More on this momentarily...

Hating  // Commuting. Period. I hate being detached from my home town. I didn't think I would but I feel like I'm not attached to anything going on in the town I work in..and I don't particularly want to be, and I'm missing out on what's happening in the town I'm from. I'm not able to help as much with events or volunteer my time. These are things I'd never had to deal with before. 
And my daughter (all healed up from the tonsils) is back at school. It really hit me this time and I'm missing her so much already. 

Loving // I found a used elliptical for 20 bucks. It'll due to get me through the winter

Writing // this semester sees me in a University of Iowa, Iowa Writers Workshop Novel writing class!!!! I'm so pumped for this! That's what the novel Blame is for. I have a good feeling about this. 

Avoiding //   Still Still Still same... I need to finish my office. I made a tiny bit of progress. 

Never did my New Year's resolution. 
So I'll just put it as SALT... same as last time :)

How many more days in January?? Really?

At least Tuesday I get to go to a Lay servant planning meeting for ... LENT!! Yay! Lent and Easter = spring :) 

STAY WARM!!